Companies pay employees to get a job done. They factor that payroll into a budget of things they know will happen like current customer orders, current pipeline, predictable spikes in business, etc. Employee payroll becomes a controllable expense.
That model should not hold true with Salespeople. Salespeople should be sent into the field to find the ‘unknown’. Their charge should be to bring back new. New customers, new deals, and new spikes in business.
Salespeople should pay for themselves.
Do your salespeople pay for themselves or are they a line item in the budget? Companies that view sales as an expense are often terrible at setting new business expectations. Too often, they lay out soft guidelines and then find themselves trying to reduce expenses when new business doesn’t increase. The salespeople they RIF are then confused as to what happened.
Make sure salespeople know they are expected to pay for themselves. Many businesses use a 5x model or higher (new business to comp) to ensure a return on the investment of salespeople. Make sure your salespeople know the numbers.
Knowing the new business expectations that are tied to their role will help them prioritize, give them clarity, and I’m willing to bet…will lead to better results.